An increasingly important aspect of the new digital insurance distribution model is the aggregator platform, which gives consumers a one-stop shop for accessing and comparing insurance products from across the market. Aggregators can also mean sales and marketing optimization for the carriers with a strong, clear strategy on exploiting aggregator services.

Carriers that responded to Accenture’s new survey, Reimagining Insurance Distribution, recognize that aggregators constitute a potentially important distribution channel. But while aggregators warrant consideration, assessments of just how critical they will be vary considerably by survey respondents’ country and line of business.

Generally, according to Accenture research, carriers expect that customers increasingly will turn to aggregators over the next three years, especially during the information and quote-generation stages of the sales process. Carriers that are open to working with aggregators understand the opportunity to create value for all while offering customers transparency and quality products. To exploit those opportunities, carriers realize they need new strategies. For example:

  • Among North American insurers, 48 percent currently work with aggregators under a sub-brand. In three years, 55 percent expect to. Those percentages are even higher among carriers that write only property/casualty, or general, insurance: 49 percent work with aggregators under a sub-brand today, and 56 percent plan to within three years. By contrast, while 43 percent of insurers in Europe currently work with aggregators under a sub-brand, not many more—45 percent—expect to within three years.
  • Fifty one percent of carriers are considering defining a low-cost product set specifically for aggregators.
  • Fifty-seven percent of carriers say they are considering setting up their own aggregator site, although the percentages vary significantly by country and product line. For example, 83 percent of U.K. insurers are weighing that option, compared to 58 percent of U.S. insurers. By product line, 56 percent of property/casualty insurers and 54 percent of multiline insurers are considering it, while 62 percent of life-only carriers are.

In the survey’s comments section, Intrasurance Group CEO Frank Cooler explained how the carrier exploits aggregators in an effort to drive sales: “When a customer visits an aggregator site, we build the premium based on more than 200 different variables that we calculate in a split second with our algorithm. If we want the customer, we bring in a premium that’s very competitive—we even know when a well-known brand is competing, so we will then offer a tailored, cheaper price to that customer.”

To learn more about the study, download Reimagining Insurance Distribution.

Next time: Agents’ changing role.

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